West Ward Councilman Ron Rice quietly but officially launched his campaign for Congress earlier this month, when he filed paperwork with federal election officials declaring his bid for the 10th District seat.
The paperwork was filed with the Federal Election Commission March 1. Rice is the only candidate who has completed an FEC filing so far, records show.
A member of the Newark Municipal Council since 2006 now serving his second term, Rice announced late least year that he was forming an exploratory committee for the Congressional seat, but has refrained from formally kicking off a campaign.
Rice, a Democrat, would replace Donald Payne Sr., who died last week at the age of 77 after serving in the House since 1988. He was buried yesterday.
A 1990 graduate of American University in Washington, DC, who also holds a law degree from Seton Hall University, Rice is a third-generation Newark resident whose father, Ron Rice Sr., currently serves as a state senator for the 28th District.
In the days following Payne’s passing, a number of prospective successors have been publicly discussed by Essex County political figures. Along with Rice, Payne’s son, Donald Payne Jr.,the president of the Newark Municipal Council, has been identified as a possible contender, as has Sheila Oliver, a member of the state Assembly from East Orange and speaker of the Assembly.
Rice declined to comment today out of respect for the Payne family.